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photo of Trooper Baker

Major Vazquez expresses appreciation to Tab Brewer for his efforts.
Major Carlos Vazquez expresses appreciation to Tab Brewer for his efforts.

On November 17, 1973, Trooper Claude H. Baker was killed in the line of duty on U.S. 41 and River Road in Sarasota County. He was shot during a traffic stop conducted on Henry Lorenzo Payne, an escaped prisoner. The killer later plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. The Florida Highway Patrol station located at 4010 South Tamiami Trail in Venice is named for Trooper Baker.

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New signage at the Venice FHP Station
New signage at the Venice FHP Station

Roadside Memorial on US 41
Roadside Memorial
erected on US 41.

Venice District Troopers display the old and new photo of Trooper Claude Baker.
Venice District Troopers display the old and new photo of Trooper Claude Baker.

Life Scout, Tab Brewer, of the Boy Scouts of America has further honored Trooper Baker as his Eagle Scout project. He requested the Florida Legislature to designate a portion of U.S. 41 as the “Trooper Claude Baker Memorial Highway” which passed as part of House Bill 5. He also had a picture of Trooper Baker and his headstone rehabilitated.

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Connie Baker Brady
Connie Baker Brady

Claude Baker’s Daughter, Sabrina Baker Page
Claude Baker’s Daughter, Sabrina Baker Page

Chief Judge Lee Haworth, Twelfth Judicial Circuit
Chief Judge Lee Haworth, Twelfth Judicial Circuit

Vice Chair Nora Patterson, Sarasota County Commission
Vice Chair Nora Patterson, Sarasota County Commission

A Memorial Ceremony took place on May 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM at the South County Courthouse in Venice. Speakers included Chief Judge Lee E. Haworth, Sheriff Tom Knight, FHP Major Carlos Vazquez and Mrs. Connie Baker Brady.

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Claude Baker’s family with Venice District Troopers
Claude Baker’s family with Venice District Troopers.

There were numerous retired Troopers attending including Van Fussell, Sheriff Knight, Nick Gigliotti, Manatee County Commissioner Getman and Sam Wilson
There were numerous retired Troopers attending including Van Fussell, Sheriff Tom Knight, Nick Gigliotti, Manatee County Commissioner Ron Getman and Sam Wilson.

Florida Highway Patrol and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Colorguard.
Florida Highway Patrol and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Colorguard.

Slain trooper remembered 37 years later
Published on WWSB ABC Sarasota County
May 22, 2010

28th Annual Police Memorial Service held in Tallahassee

 

 
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